Ecological assessment of a transitioned stormwater infiltration basin

Poornima Natarajan, Allen P. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Infiltration basins are stormwater control measures (SCMs) widely employed for urban stormwater management. A transitioned infiltration basin is a failed infiltration basin that has gradually transformed into a wetland- or wetpond-like practice. The transitioned basin was found to effectively control the storm runoff flows and volumes, and improve the discharge water quality, thereby reducing the downstream hydrologic and pollutant loads on most occasions. Qualitative assessment of the site showed presence of wetland and non-wetland vegetation, small animals, and some potential for cultural benefit. The ecological evaluation demonstrated that runoff management and habitat provision in a sub-urban setting enhance the overall functionality of this new type of SCM ecosystem. A functionality assessment guide was developed for assessing infiltration basins considered to have failed. The Level-1 assessment includes visual criteria such as hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, hydrologic regime modification, and design check. The rapid assessment plans developed in this study can be applied to determine the ecological and stormwater management functions and benefits of failed/transitioning/transitioned basins, and may be adapted for other similar SCMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Engineering
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Maryland State Highway Administration . The authors thankfully acknowledge the support from the I-95 Corridor Coalition and Ann G. Wiley Fellowship (University of Maryland) for this research. The authors wish to thank Prof. Andrew Baldwin at University of Maryland for his help with identifying the plant species at the study location.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Ecosystem services
  • Infiltration basin
  • Rapid assessment
  • Stormwater control measures (SCMs)
  • Wetland
  • Wetpond


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